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The Benefits of Short, Intense Physical Activity in Cancer Prevention

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The Benefits of Short, Intense Physical Activity in Cancer Prevention

A recent study published in JAMA Oncology has found that even short periods of vigorous, intermittent physical activity are associated with a lower risk of cancer. The study suggests that this type of activity could be a promising intervention for cancer prevention in individuals who struggle to exercise regularly and sustainably.

The study, which examined 22,398 adults with a mean age of 62 years, found that engaging in just under 4 minutes a day of sporadic vigorous activity was associated with a 17% lower risk of developing cancer overall. The researchers also found that the more periods of physical activity there were, the greater the reduction in cancer risk.

Vigorous intermittent physical activity bouts, such as climbing the stairs with agility or doing a brief sprint to catch the bus, can have significant health benefits. The study used data from the UK Biobank to track participants’ physical activity using wearable arm bracelets over a follow-up period of 6.7 years.

The results suggest that even a few minutes of brief, intense physical activity can reduce the risk of cancer, particularly in individuals with little leisure time for regular exercise. Additionally, the data from the study group indicate a relationship between just over 4 minutes of intense physical activity per day and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality in both athletes and non-athletes.

In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights into the health benefits of short bursts of vigorous physical activity and highlights the potential of this type of intervention for cancer prevention in individuals who struggle to find time for regular exercise.

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